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Dr. Arun Thiyagarajan

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Dr. Arun Thiyagarajan is currently the Managing Director for Bupa UK's Health Clinics, having previously held the role of Medical Director. You can ask Arun a series of questions o...

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What is BDD?

B D. D is body dys phobia disorder. A lot of people are struggling with it, and I think actually that's probably more so because people are aware of it. Essentially, it's how people perceive their own body. And quite often that doesn't fit with what they think they should look like or they have a perception of it that it's not good enough. And that's actually really worrying for a lot of people. It's most concerning actually, when it affects someone's daily life, when it gets in the way of their confidence, the way they go to work, or how they feel at work or with their friends. And most of the time they look brilliant but they just don't see it, that their mind and their eye doesn't see how good they really look. And that can stretch from anything from the way they shape their noses or their hair pattern, or their skin complexion or their body size. And that's the kind of thing that grapples with them on a day-to-day basis. And then they start to suffer from that or suffer from the perception of their own body.

How is BDD diagnosed?

B D. D is diagnosed in multiple ways. Really, it's most commonly diagnosed. What we say in the clinical world, there's a clinical diagnosis, and what that really means is how the person says what they're suffering from and does it fit with a diagnosis of B, D, D. So there isn't necessarily a blood test or a scan that can deduct whether someone has B, D, D. It's more about what they're saying and what they're feeling, and that actually means that sometimes it's not clear whether someone has B d D or not, but I think it isn't important really, whether someone has it or not. It's not as binary as that, or it's just actually how they're feeling and how can we help that as clinicians, that's the most important thing.

How do I know if I have BDD?

I think it's actually really difficult to know whether you have B D D. I think the most important thing is do you feel like you have or you are not necessarily happy with how you look? Do you think that that could be perhaps not in line with what other people perceive the way you look? That's probably where I would start thinking about it and where I would take it to next. Is it affecting you? So is your perception of how you look affecting you? And if you think it is, and if it's affecting you on what you do in your daily life, then I think it's important to talk to your doctor, irrespective of whether you have B, d, d or not. I think it's important to try and address those things just to boost your confidence. If you do boost your confidence, whether that be when you're going to work, whether you're playing sport, whether you're just happy about the way you look, I think you'll feel a lot better. So it's hard to know for sure, but I think if you have an inkling that you might feel something or it might not necessarily feel the way you want to talk to someone about it.

How can BDD affect someone's mental health?

Is there a cure for BDD?